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Keep in in touch with your customers now will pay dividends after the crisis

By 25th March 2020

Some advice about using Digital Tools and Social Platforms during the Covid-19 Crisis

Write a coronavirus statement

You may have already done that so also consider if it needs updating. Customers will appreciate being kept up to date. Some key points to include in your statement

Let people know if you are open and what are your hours. How to contact you is vitally important to customers. Have you set up a special phone line or would you prefer email only during what may be a very intense time for your business

A statement on how you are keeping staff and visitors if relevant safe is important. It is reassuring to know exactly what steps you are taking. Consider including information on:

  • Self-isolation
  • Handwashing
  • Cleaning
  • Social distancing

It’s really important now and even more so for the future how your business is perceived to have acted during the crisis. That means that you should look at your services. Consider refunds, cancellations and returns. Yes, your business may well be taking a big hit right now but customers have long memories if they have been treated in a manner they consider unfair. This sort of news is easily spread nowadays on Social Media and can stick.

Don’t be reluctant to ask your customers for suggestions. Now is a great time to find out how they want to be communicated with and by involving them, ongoing brand loyalty can be enhanced. You might indeed garner some new ideas from their feedback. It is very hard as a stressed and panicking business owner to see new opportunities. But they are there.

Don’t forget to say thanks to all your clients

Getting the right message out now

Remember to put your statement across all your existing digital channels - not just those you use the most.

Website

Add the main points of your coronavirus statement to a prominent panel on your homepage (and other key pages on your site as users often land directly on deeper pages). Link this to a dedicated page with more information if needed. Update any other pages which may have contradictory information.

As the situation is so fast moving, you’ll need to update your website more regularly than usual with any changes to your service, or just to reassure customers your last statement still applies.

Email

Email your coronavirus statement (with web links for more information) to all those you have permission to email.

Again, send out an update email whenever the situation changes.

eCommerce sites

If you run an ecommerce business or online shop it’s even more critical to keep your website updated customers will have more specific queries, so panels on your homepage and key pages should link to further information such as:

  • How you plan to keep deliveries safe
  • Advice on how to accept deliveries if you are self-isolating
  • Any changes to existing orders and impact on delivery dates
  • Any impact on stock levels
  • When stock is expected back in
  • How people can cancel and claim refunds
  • How customers can contact you for more information

Ensure that you regularly update your site with any change to stock, delivery times or service and alert customers via email as soon as possible with any issues with existing orders.

Social platforms

Across each social channel you run, add a pinned post to the top of your feeds with the key messages from your Coronavirus statement, and link to more detail if appropriate. Keep this updated as things change.

Also, monitor your social feeds and messengers for queries from your customers, responding as needed.

If you have a Facebook auto response (for Messenger), make sure that the content is appropriate to your new level of service.

Google my Business listings

Update your GMB listing if you are closed or with any changes to your opening times.

Don’t forget

Don’t forget to check any scheduled content you might have. Businesses often plan social posting and campaigns well ahead. Now is not the time to have a post that might have been witty and engaging a couple of weeks ago and now would be deemed quite offensive. This can have a lasting effect when the recovery comes – bad perceptions can linger

But don’t stop using your social channels if you already do so regularly. Think about what you can post. Can you, as a business, offer assistance? Are you and your staff volunteering? Have you switched manufacturing to supply essential items? Let your followers know and don’t forget to ask them to help if they can. Building a loyal social community now will pay dividends in the future

Digital Tools and Social Platforms during the Covid-19 Crisis